For a long time, Inhumans was poised to be the next big screen blockbuster from Marvel Studios. A-list stars like Vin Diesel were on the rumored cast list, and it seemed the Inhumans would be Marvel Studios’ answer to X-Men’s mutants. But then something changed.
News on the project went quiet for a while, and then we learned the property was being repurposed as a TV event series that would have its debut with a splashy run on IMAX screens. So what happened in the interim? In a chat with ThatHashtagShow, Marvel’s head of TV Jeph Loeb explained the decision came down to Marvel Studios’ film slate, which was getting more and more crowded with other projects.
With solo films like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, plus sequels like Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers 3-4, it’d have been several more years before Marvel would even have the time to take Inhumans seriously. So the event series was born. Here’s the choice excerpt from Loeb:
“Well, as you know Marvel is one big giant company, and this was a property that was in movie division, and when they looked at their schedule and realized what they wanted to be doing, [Inhumans] was something that was gonna push very far out. So we started having a conversation with them about, 'Well, maybe this is something that would work as a television series.' And that worked out really well."
Despite the best of intentions, the Inhumans project is quickly starting to look like a bust. The IMAX reception has only been so-so, and reviews for the two-hour pilot have been anemic at best (it’s currently sitting at 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, if you can believe that). Variety has also reported on some rumblings from within ABC, with concerns that the awful critical response could hurt the ratings once the eight-episode series premieres September 29.
The Inhumans have the potential to reshape the state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the right approach, but hitching the flagship property to a critically reviled TV miniseries is not the best foot to put forward. It’ll be interesting to see how the full series is received (hopefully the back half is good!), and what Marvel does with the Inhumans heading into the next phase or two of the MCU.
What do you think? Would you have preferred a big-budget Inhumans film over a TV series? Do you think there’s space for the characters in the proper MCU in the first place?